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Top 5 HR Trends for 2020

1) Workplace flexibility continues to grow in importance.

In the 2019 Global Talent Trends Report from LinkedIn, nearly three-quarters (72%) of talent professionals say that workplace flexibility – including flexible work schedules and remote working options – will be “extremely important in shaping the future of recruiting and talent.” Employers are certainly highlighting it more: the report’s authors note a 78% increase in the mention of “workplace flexibility” in job posts since 2016.

2) HR’s role is shifting from transactional to advisory.

This is a long-term trend that will continue to accelerate in 2020: as technology makes inroads into traditional HR functions, the role of HR personnel and services is turning to analysis and advisory work.  Jill Goldstein, global practice lead for talent and HR operations at advisory firm Accenture, told SHRM, “I can envision a future where HR professionals are no longer thinking that their job is to stay on top of current HR trends, but to reposition [themselves] to become workforce advisors.”

3) Re-thinking skills and skills development.

It’s not just HR; the entire workplace is changing. As rote, repetitive tasks are replaced by software and machines, new workers may not necessarily be prepared for the actual (and more advanced) day-to-day skills required. Simultaneously, many work environments are facing a brain drain as Baby Boomers retire. As a result of these changes, employers are placing greater emphasis on recruiting soft skills – like the abilities to communicate effectively and manage one’s workload well – as well as re-thinking training and development programs for “upskilling” workers.

4) The hiring market remains tight and competitive.

Per TheBalance.com, U.S. GDP growth is expected to slow slightly from 2.2% in 2019 (and 3% in 2018) to 2% in 2020. Unemployment is expected to stay steady at 3.7% in 2020 and increase incrementally to 3.8% in 2021. As a result, many businesses – especially small businesses – will face almost exactly the same hiring pains they’ve had in 2019. Low unemployment will make it harder to find good workers, with the cost of labor increasing at a faster rate than the cost of raw materials or the cost of capital.

5) Employee experience remains a major focus.

This is another long-term trend that appears to be gaining steam. Employee experience is about creating conditions that are “conducive to optimizing performance and productivity,” as we’ve written previously. This trend is not only continuing to grow, it’s spilling over into additional areas. For example, recruiters are focusing on “candidate experience,” recognizing that in a competitive labor marketplace with low unemployment, job candidates – especially the most desirable ones – must be wooed with a helpful, welcoming experience throughout the recruitment process.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.  

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